Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Grey Numbers

There are approximately 114,957,281 births this year.
There are approximately 49,097,313 deaths this year.
As of now, I say approximately.
Apparently, there is this world population calculator.
And I say approximately because those were the numbers when I looked at the world population calculator.
But of course, every second, the number changes.
Which is crazy to think about.
That right now while I'm sitting here watching the numbers change,
A baby is being a born and a friend has died.
Two opposite ends of the spectrum so closely related and yet so different.
One happy, one sad.
But I take comfort in the fact that the birth number is significantly higher than the death rate.
That there were more humans coming into life than leaving it.

I just checked the world net population total.
It's approx. 7,078,634,370.
Thats not a lot.
But it's a lot.
Numbers and Facts are so solemn and uncaring.
Unless you give them meaning.
And sometimes the meaning can be happy or sad or both.
My name is Sophie Ando. I'm 18. I'm a College student. Currently unemployed but has a desire for photography and writing. The last name Ando is the 21,694th most common surname. Having the name Sophie Ando is the 463rd most common. There are more than one Sophie Ando's out there. I bet there is a Sophie Ando that lives in Alaska and has blonde hair and who's favorite color is teal. I bet there is some one who looks almost exactly like me.

I just thought of the name Mark Brown. I googled Mark Brown. I found a Mark Brown who is a Scottish professional football goal keeper. I wonder what his passion is. I wonder if he likes to paint. I wonder if his favorite color is blue. There is a Mark Brown out there who is an American gaming industry executive and he is married. I wonder how he proposed to his wife. I wonder how he first asked her out. I wonder if he had class. There are so many Mark Browns who have lived and google probably won't remember them all.

There are so many people out there, it's mind blowing. So many people who have lived and won't be remembered. So many people who lived and will be remembered; some for great things, some for bad things, some for insignificant things.
Numbers are concretes. Facts are concretes. They don't have colors or attributes. They don't glisten with prettiness or create images of sun colored roses. They exist. They represent. They're hard like stone. They can be important. They can be insigificant. 

11-17 million people died in the Holocaust. That's a big number. Thats an important number.

Not all numbers can be known though.
 Like how many hairs I have on my head.
Or how many people I've seen throughout my life.
But I do know how many times I've painted my nails today.
And that's an insignifcant number when we're talking about nails being painted.


I don't know why I'm doing this, honestly. It started with me thinking about Veterans day, and people who die and how many people die and how many aren't and are remembered. And what people think about and what people have the ability to think about. And the easy access to facts and numbers out there, and the facts and numbers we will never know. And how important and unimportant these numbers are. And how even though I looked them up and wondered these things, it doesn't matter.

And I'll forget it.
And you'll forget it.
We forget.
Sometimes we remember unimportant things, but we forget important things.
Some things are unimportant to one person and important to another.
But we forget that too sometimes.

Sometimes, though, there are things we shouldn't forget.
 But we will forget.
That's part of being a human, unfortunately.
We shouldn't, but we will.
Oh, but we will.



  1. this is a beautifully written post. those numbers are staggering...what is most crazy to me is that death is so common, and happens to every single person, and yet it is such a taboo to talk about. It is the one thing we all have in common, and yet, a hush-hush topic.

  2. Soph this is so beautiful. As I read this, I feel like everything around me is grey and moving really fast. Like I'm narrating a story in an epic movie.
    It's amazing how all these little changes do count for something and every moment is an important time for someone in this world.
    It feels so unreal but it is we live everyday with these births and deaths and just fail to stop for a while and ponder.

    +To Me It Matters+

  3. Whoa - you really have me in deep thought over this one Soph! Your writing is ALWAYs so thought provoking and beautiful. Now I want to google my name is see what I find :)

  4. wowzers! Why are you so fantastic??
    lovelylovelylovely. thats what this post is. <3 i love these sorts of thoughts!!

  5. I love the research and emotion you put into this post thank you so much! I also want to google my name,lol the name Danielle sureeee is a common one that I do know! have a great tuesday!

  6. You are so insightful. And its funny that you should write about this because I just read in my devotionals yesterday about death. It says in Ecclesiastes 7:1 that "the day you die is better than the day you were born". That verse really confused me at first, but then I read on to discover that what God is trying to convey is that on the day we are born, we are entering a pain-filled, sinful world that is guaranteed to disappoint us. But on the day we die, we get to leave this broken world (and sadly loved ones) and go to live in perfect harmony and splendor with our Holy God and creator! So really, all those deaths aren't always so sad after all. If they put their faith in Jesus Christ, they are surly thriving in His glory now :)

    "For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."
    ~Philippians 1:21


  7. I just love this. I've had thoughts too about how each person is so special, and has a life, a story, and they're not just a sterile statistic that people pass over, they are or were a living, breathing human, God made. Such a great reminder, thank you for posting. :)

  8. absolutely brilliant and bittersweet. Liking those quotes, they are well handpicked. Thanks for writing it

    The Young Bridget Jones